Young Kamiak players continue to make progress

Knights fared well against older teams in summer tourneys
Jul 31, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Glenn Wabaluku drives past a defender during a Maverick Shootout tournament game at Meadowdale High School.

The Kamiak boys basketball team made the strides that coach Brandon Corsi was hoping to see.

The highlight of the spring and summer for the Knights was winning the Stanwood Spartan Classic in late June. Kamiak defeated Newport 61-39 in the finals. The team also placed third at the Maverick (Meadowdale) Shootout.

“We’re definitely an improved squad compared to last year,” Corsi said. “We’re still very young.”

The Knights return what will be a junior-heavy roster and bring back only one senior in Charlie Powers, who earned first-team, all-Wesco 4A recognition.

Powers, one of the top shooting guards in the league, led the team on offense but also had solid support from juniors Jaye Ohonme, Brendan Beier and Glenn Wabaluku.

The senior standout is going to be relied on both for points and leadership.

“We’ve been really working on on-the-court and off-the-court leadership,” Corsi said. “We want to make sure that he’s playing both sides of the ball. He’s picked up the defensive intensity. We’re hoping he continues that progress into the season.”

Even though Kamiak was younger than many of its tournament opponents, the Knights didn’t back down from the challenge.

“They stayed composed,” Corsi said. “They don’t look at it as somebody older than me. They’re looking at the person across the gym and they are ready to compete.”

The incoming junior class saw significant minutes last season and Corsi liked how they performed in the summer.

“Each and everyone of them contributed last year,” Corsi said. “They already have advanced offensively due to the work they put in over the spring. More guys can put the ball in the hoop.”

The Knights’ defense also is improved and generated points on the other end of the court.

“The defense is creating offense compared to what it was last year,” Corsi said.

Some sophomores also could be major contributors. Corsi said that he could see Tijan Saine stepping into a varsity role. Nolan Martin, who was on the C team last season, also appears to be a strong candidate for minutes.

“He’s also a contributor with energy and enthusiasm,” Corsi said.

The biggest change for Kamiak is the loss of height, specifically 7-foot center Ryker Wuttke, who is at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The Knights don’t have any other 7-footers in the program but do have a 6-6 center in junior Mike Jones, Jr., who played JV last season.

“His game has progressed a lot,” Corsi said. “He could step into some minutes. We’ll see.”

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